The Age of the Great Conductor - Spring 2020 - Mr. Harvey Sachs
(The Age of the Great Conductor SP20)

The notion of the conductor as a dominating force in musical interpretation came of age in the twentieth century. By chance, the capacity to record music decently also came of age in the twentieth century, which means that we have substantial examples of the work of conductors like Felix Weingartner, who conducted Brahms in the presence of Brahms; Arturo Toscanini, who discussed Verdi’s music with Verdi; Richard Strauss, who was known during his lifetime as much as a conductor as a composer; Willem Mengelberg, who worked directly with Strauss and Mahler; Serge Koussevitzky and Pierre Monteux, who conducted the premieres or early performances of works by Debussy, Ravel, Stravinsky, and Prokofiev, among others; Bruno Walter and Otto Klemperer, both disciples of Mahler; Ernest Ansermet, another early Stravinskian; Wilhelm Furtwängler, who epitomized unbridled Romanticism in his interpretations; and Fritz Reiner, Erich Kleiber, Fritz Busch, Dimitri Mitropoulos, George Szell, and several others – all of them born before 1900. Through recordings, films, and documents, this course will provide an investigation of the origins and development of the art of conducting.